movie night in the park

We don’t all live in a small town, but if you’re looking to experience that small-town feel, there are ways to do it. My neighbors recently announced that this summer they plan to set up movies in the park, once a week, until school starts up again in the fall.


David Tsay

The idea first took off in 2007 when neighborhoods across the US decided to set aside specific nights when they would “take back their parks.” It motivated them to get out and meet their neighbors in an attempt to deter mischief after hours.  It isn’t all that hard to make it happen.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  1. If you don’t happen to have an inflatable movie screen, create your own using the side of your house, garage, fence or other type building, then cover the area with a white sheet.
  2. Make sure you have access to an electricity source and a LONG extension cord, probably around 100 feet and don’t forget a surge strip.
  3. Find a good location for your projector.  Make sure whatever model you have hooks up to a computer, tablet or DVD player and that you have access to the movie in the corresponding format.
  4. Set up your speakers. If you don’t own a decent set of speakers, ask your neighbors. Someone always seems willing to bring a pair they have sitting around in their garage. Even a Karaoke machine will work. Just know that you will need to make sure you have the right jack to hook up to the DVD player.
  5. If you need extra lighting, you can always hang twinkle lights or tiki torches so people will be able to find their way to the bathroom in the dark.
  6. While everyone arrives and is milling about trying to find their perfect spots for their blankets, yoga mats, and chairs, you can always offer short cartoons until the main feature starts. Anything from Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies would work. Let Daffy Duck or Porky Pig entertain the kiddos until the main event.

After all your hard work, grab the popcorn and pretzels, then sit back and enjoy a night under the stars.

Here’s a few movie suggestions to get you started:

  1. Lilo and Stitch
  2. Tangled
  3. Dumbo
  4. Toy Story
  5. Monster’s Inc.
  6. Ratatouille
  7. Brave
  8. Cars
  9. Shrek
  10. Zootopia

The main thing is to have fun and get to know your neighbors.